If I ever write a book, which I can’t imagine what it would be on, this will likely be the cover… I don’t know why other than when I look at it I think “book cover”.
This is one of my favorite pictures from Iceland. I remember exactly where it was. Holly and I had been driving for quite a while and we stopped at a fork in the road. The signs seemed to suggest that both roads would take us where we wanted to go… but one was substantially shorter. Substantially. We of course chose the shorter route. Just on to this “highway” 939, you pass a large warning sign stating that the road was not maintained in the winter and could be impassible… and seemed to suggest that if you got stuck, you might sit there until next spring when everything thawed out. Undeterred, we continued on. Surely it couldn’t be THAT bad, right? Not long after that we passed another sign warning of 15% grades. Is that steep? Not to worry, we’ve got a stunningly not-so-new Subaru Legacy with over 240,000 kilometers on it that claims to have AWD. We should be fine. Well, the road got narrower… and steeper; my knuckles got whiter… the pavement turned to gravel… and then to mud. Funny smells started coming from the car that I’m quite certain was the smell of transmission fluid… hot transmission fluid. The car nudged from one side to the other as we mushed down a road that had obviously frozen and thawed several times since the last time it was graded and the steering wheel provided some interesting feedback.
I’m not sure Holly and I said two words to each other… other than her asking me what that smell was as I stopped on a decent spot of road to take pictures and give the car a much needed break. I lied and said I had no idea and assured her it was probably fine.
After rejoining the main highway again we started back down the mountain and on the way down I spotted this house. Literally in the middle of nowhere. The fresh snow on top of the tree-less mountain; the river between it and me. This encompassed the Iceland countryside for me. Maybe it was that my heart was still racing from the spirited driving we had just done or maybe it was the fact that I couldn’t get over how what I was looking at looked more like a painting then it did something real. I took the picture and checked the back of my camera to make sure it looked the way I wanted it to. I said to myself… I’ll blow that one up. Hopefully it tells the same story to you as it does me.